Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Are you prepared to take a dive into the deep end of my head?

I know it's, like, so 2005, but I'm reading blink and loving it. I've just come from the Harvard site Gladwell links that has IATs (Implicit Association Tests). Fascinating! And disconcerting in some cases. As Gladwell and the Harvard site point out, our associations aren't revealing our true feelings, but do highlight how we are influenced by media and culture and upbringing and how these associations may influence us consciously or subconsciously. Even if you don't want to register, you can test to see how your opinions of the political candidates compare with your associations. If you have ten minutes, do it here and tell me how it goes.


Frontier Psychiatrist said...

My results were pretty much exactly what I would have guessed going in.

At first I was all confused (because I'm smart like that) but once I got going, it started to freak me out how easy it was sometimes and then how hard it could be when presented with two candidates I don't like, or having to call one I do like bad.

Anyway, thanks for mixing up my Tuesday morning.

Michael said...

Yes, my results with the political candidates fell in line with my opinions of those candidates. The site mentions that's typical. Then I went further in and the result with race and the death penalty was where things were disconcerting. That is, until I thought about it more. Of course none of us are immune to some unconscious bias, and not only in regard to others, but ourselves.

sam said...

anybody else get clinton and obama side by side in the final chart analysis?

maybe it's just the mood that i'm in but the test made me laugh hysterically. it was like it was 1985 and i'd just been shown how to play Pong for the first time.

except that i was 4 then and i'm almost 27 now. yeah.

Max said...

Blink is awesome, isn't it? It's one of the texts for the intro to philosophy course I teach at school, and my kids LOVE it (and love to use examples from it in every essay they write after they read it). Honest to God, I think 90% of them come out of my classes with nerd crushes on Malcolm Gladwell and/or David Sedaris (I use tons of pieces from both guys).

If you haven't already, go to malcolmgladwell.com and read more of his articles and essays. The one about ketchup is my personal favorite (seriously).

Have you read The Black Swan yet? I own it but haven't gotten around to it--it definitely looks Gladwell-esque.

Michael said...

Sam, I got Hillary on top, which seemed familiar, since that's where I picture her in our lovemaking.

Max, Sedaris and Gladwell? I need to be in one of your classes more than ever. I peeked at Gladwell's website, but I'll have to dig in. I haven't heard of The Black Swan.